Violin and Piano Thrillers

by Bogdan Văcărescu and Julian Jacobson

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    The CD comes in a matte 6 panel Digipak with an 8 page booklet. Artwork by Bogdan Vacarescu. Pictures by Nenad Obradovic.

    When you purchase the physical copy of the CD you will automatically receive a digital version.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Violin and Piano Thrillers via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      £10 GBP  or more

     

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about

IMPORTANT!!! Bandcamp auto-generates the file names and they are very long and you may get errors. Please unzip your files in your root directories. That means extract the zip files to e.g. "C:\Bogdan" rather than e.g. "C:\music\mp3\classical\Bogdan". Once unzipped, you can move the album in any folders you like. I notified Bandcamp about this problem.

The album was recorded on 17 & 18 October 2015 at AIR Studios - Lyndhurst Hall, London with the support of The New Europe Society as well as friends and fans through a crowd-funding campaign that lasted 28 days.

This album is dedicated to the loving memory of my violin teacher - maestro Paul Ratz who introduced me to the vastness of the violin repertoire and the beauty of many forgotten masterpieces – some of them rarely recorded or performed for many decades. Hence this album includes a few of these pieces, in the hope that they will find their way back to the stage.

"Violin and Piano Thrillers" is available in High Definition for download in digital format - ideally download as "WAV". Just a warning that the HD audio files are very large (the largest file is 266MB - the whole album in HD audio is nearly 1.8 GB) and it is encoded at 4607kbps / 96kHz.

If you don't know what all of the above means, my recommendation is to choose the option "MP3 320" - smaller files, supported by most media players and good quality.

Next step up in quality, I recommend "ALAC" option as it will be lossless but downsampled to 48 kHz - which is the standard sampling rate for most professional audio gear.

If you do have the hard disk space and a high-end audio system, then download the HD version which is available here in lossless formats (FLAC, WAV, AIFF) at double the standard sampling frequency - 96kHz..

Remember that once purchased a digital album you can download it as many times as you want in different formats. So experiment away!

credits

released December 9, 2015

Record Producer, Editing, Mastering: Raphaël Mouterde
www.lemniscat.com

Balance Engineer, Editing, Mixing: Olga FitzRoy
www.olgafitzroy.com

Protools Operator, Editing: Adam Miller
tinyurl.com/pc9jje3

Album artwork: Bogdan Văcărescu

Additional artwork: Tahir Palali
www.tahirpalali.com

Photography: Nenad Obradović
www.obradovic.co.uk

Julian Jacobson photo credit: Roger Harris

Recorded at AIR Studios - Lyndhurst Hall, London
on 17 & 18 Oct 2015

Promoter: The New Europe Society
www.neweurope.org.uk

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about

Bogdan Văcărescu London, UK

Bogdan is a Romanian concert violinist who has toured internationally as a soloist and chamber musician in halls such as Athenaeum in Bucharest or Sydney Opera House . He has also recorded soundtracks for films and documentaries, most notably in collaboration with Oscar-winning composers Stephen Warbeck and Gabriel Yared. Bogdan's virtuosic recitals revive lost treasures of the violin repertoire. ... more

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Track Name: Văcărescu and Jacobson - George Enescu - Sonata for piano and violin Op. 6 No. 2 in F minor - 1. Assez mouvementé
Sonata for piano and violin, Op. 6 No. 2 in F minor
Enescu (1881–1955)
1. Assez mouvementé 2.Tranquillement 3.Vif

Enescu was among the greatest violinists of the 20th century. Queen Marie of Romania wrote in her memoirs that “in George Enescu was real gold”. Enescu taught Vasile Filip, who became one of Romania’s most notable violinists and pedagogues. Enescu was also Yehudi Menuhin’s teacher and mentor, who described him as “the absolute by which I judge all others... the most extraordinary human being, the greatest musician”. Enescu was also an exceptional pianist, cellist and conductor, but considered himself first and foremost a composer. His second sonata for violin and piano was completed at the age of nineteen in 1899, then dedicated to and premiered by the French virtuoso violinist Jacques Thibaud, with Enescu at the piano. It was the first work in which Enescu liberated himself from all influences and found his own voice, combining elements of Romanian folk music with the structure of the sonata. The first movement has a tremendous fluidity and chromaticism filled with melodies ingeniously woven between piano and violin. The second movement is melancholic and in direct contrast with the third movement, which features a series of folk dances and motifs that is interrupted by the augmented main theme of the first movement.
Track Name: Văcărescu and Jacobson - George Enescu - Sonata for piano and violin Op. 6 No. 2 in F minor - 2. Tranquillement
Sonata for piano and violin, Op. 6 No. 2 in F minor
Enescu (1881–1955)
1. Assez mouvementé 2.Tranquillement 3.Vif

Enescu was among the greatest violinists of the 20th century. Queen Marie of Romania wrote in her memoirs that “in George Enescu was real gold”. Enescu taught Vasile Filip, who became one of Romania’s most notable violinists and pedagogues. Enescu was also Yehudi Menuhin’s teacher and mentor, who described him as “the absolute by which I judge all others... the most extraordinary human being, the greatest musician”. Enescu was also an exceptional pianist, cellist and conductor, but considered himself first and foremost a composer. His second sonata for violin and piano was completed at the age of nineteen in 1899, then dedicated to and premiered by the French virtuoso violinist Jacques Thibaud, with Enescu at the piano. It was the first work in which Enescu liberated himself from all influences and found his own voice, combining elements of Romanian folk music with the structure of the sonata. The first movement has a tremendous fluidity and chromaticism filled with melodies ingeniously woven between piano and violin. The second movement is melancholic and in direct contrast with the third movement, which features a series of folk dances and motifs that is interrupted by the augmented main theme of the first movement.
Track Name: Văcărescu and Jacobson - George Enescu - Sonata for piano and violin Op. 6 No. 2 in F minor - 3.Vif
Sonata for piano and violin, Op. 6 No. 2 in F minor
Enescu (1881–1955)
1. Assez mouvementé 2.Tranquillement 3.Vif

Enescu was among the greatest violinists of the 20th century. Queen Marie of Romania wrote in her memoirs that “in George Enescu was real gold”. Enescu taught Vasile Filip, who became one of Romania’s most notable violinists and pedagogues. Enescu was also Yehudi Menuhin’s teacher and mentor, who described him as “the absolute by which I judge all others... the most extraordinary human being, the greatest musician”. Enescu was also an exceptional pianist, cellist and conductor, but considered himself first and foremost a composer. His second sonata for violin and piano was completed at the age of nineteen in 1899, then dedicated to and premiered by the French virtuoso violinist Jacques Thibaud, with Enescu at the piano. It was the first work in which Enescu liberated himself from all influences and found his own voice, combining elements of Romanian folk music with the structure of the sonata. The first movement has a tremendous fluidity and chromaticism filled with melodies ingeniously woven between piano and violin. The second movement is melancholic and in direct contrast with the third movement, which features a series of folk dances and motifs that is interrupted by the augmented main theme of the first movement.
Track Name: Văcărescu and Jacobson - Johannes Brahms - Hungarian Dance No. 17 (arr. Fritz Kreisler)
Hungarian Dance No. 17 (arr. Fritz Kreisler)
Brahms (1833–1897)

Hungarian Dance No. 17 is one of 21 Hungarian dances written in 1869 by the German composer, Brahms for piano four-hands. It is a brilliant piece full of contrasts, inspired by traditional Hungarian music. The arrangement for violin and piano is typical of Kreisler’s virtuosity and deep understanding of both instruments. After all, Kreisler (1875–1962) was hailed as one of the foremost violinists of his time and premiered Elgar’s violin concerto, which was dedicated to him. He enriched the violin repertoire enormously with invaluable compositions and arrangements alongside cadenzas to concertos for violin by Brahms, Paganini and Beethoven.
Track Name: Văcărescu and Jacobson - Antonín Dvořák - Slavonic Dance Op. 72, No. 2 (arr. F. Kreisler)
Slavonic Dance, Op. 72 No. 2 (arr. Fritz Kreisler)
Dvořák (1841–1904)

The Czech composer Antonín Dvořák wrote the Slavonic Dances in response to Brahms’s Hungarian Dances. He was so inspired by the idea of compositions on national themes that he wrote 16 dances, also originally for piano four-hands. Dvořák frequently used rhythms and motifs from the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. This reference to traditional music must have appealed very much to Kreisler, who often chose beautiful melodies with intricate folk rhythms to arrange for his instrument.
Track Name: Văcărescu and Jacobson - Jenő Hubay - Zephyr from “The Flower's Tale”, Op. 30
“Zephyr” from Blumenleben, Op. 30
Hubay (1858–1937)

Born in Budapest, Jenő Hubay was a violinist, composer and teacher. He studied violin with Joseph Joachim and established himself in Europe as a soloist. Henri Vieuxtemps, regarded as the principal founder of the Franco-Flemish violin school, saw in him the continuation of his own artistry. He recommended Hubay for the prestigious position of Professor of Violin at the Brussels Conservatoire, a post which he himself and more recently Henryk Wieniawski had held. Hubay held the position from 1886 to 1890, during which time he composed “Zephyr”. It is the fifth of a set of six short pieces, known as Blumenleben (or The Flower’s Tale), based on a metaphoric love poem by the Hungarian aristocrat and one-armed pianist, Géza Zichy (1849–1924). It is a tale of a flower and a fickle butterfly soon attracted by a new blossom. “Zephyr” depicts the image and movement of the butterfly as it leaves the flower.
Track Name: Văcărescu and Jacobson - Frédéric Chopin - Nocturne Op. 27 No. 2 (arr. August Wilhelmj)
Nocturne, Op. 27 No. 2 (arr. August Wilhelmj)
Chopin (1810–1849)

Chopin was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era. He is the most famous exponent of the nocturne, a lyrical composition evocative of the night. He developed this Romantic musical form originally cultivated by the Irish composer John Field into a popular genre. Nocturne, Op. 27 No. 2 has been arranged for violin and piano by both Sarasate and Wilhelmj. The latter’s interpretation is closer to the original piano score. Wilhelmj (1845–1908) was a precocious German violinist, arranger and pedagogue, introduced by the composer Franz Liszt to the violin professor Ferdinand David at the Leipzig Conservatory as “the future Paganini” when he was only sixteen.
Track Name: Văcărescu and Jacobson - Pablo de Sarasate - Spanish Dance Op. 21 No. 2 – Habanera
Spanish Dance, Op. 21 No. 2 – Habanera Sarasate (1844–1908)

Pablo de Sarasate was a Spanish celebrity, welcomed internationally by huge crowds when he arrived in cities to perform throughout Europe, Africa, the Far East and the Americas. His real trademark was that he made very difficult music look effortless. George Bernard Shaw said that Sarasate “left criticism gasping miles behind him”. Prominent composers of his time (Wieniawski, Saint-Saëns and Lalo) dedicated works to him. Sarasate’s own compositions are mainly showpieces designed to show off his outstanding technique. Sarasate’s Habanera is like a capricious conversation between a man and woman dancing. He draws on the characteristic syncopated Cuban rhythms of Havana, a style thought to have been brought by sailors to his country, where the Habanera became established as a popular Spanish dance adopted by all classes of society in the late 19th century.
Track Name: Văcărescu and Jacobson - Ludwig van Beethoven - “The Ruins of Athens”, Op. 113 Turkish March - Scherzo (arr. Leopold Auer)
The Ruins of Athens, Op. 113
Beethoven (1770–1827)
1. Turkish March – Scherzo (arr. Leopold Auer)
2. Chorus of Dervishes – Etude (arr. Leopold Auer)

One of the most famous, prolific and influential composers of all time, Ludwig van Beethoven was instrumental in making the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western music. The Ruins of Athens is a set of 11 incidental music pieces he composed in 1811 for orchestra and choir, to accompany a play of the same name by August von Kotzebue for the dedication of a new theatre at Pest, Hungary. The “Turkish March” is the fifth and best-known movement. It has been arranged for piano by Franz Liszt, Anton Rubinstein and Sergei Rachmaninoff and for violin and piano by Leopold Auer (1845–1930). Rarely recorded or performed, “Chorus of Dervishes”, is the fourth movement and dramatically depicts whirling dervishes. Here is the translation of the chorus’s German lyrics:

In the folds of your sleeves
You have carried the moon and shattered it.
Kaaba! Mahomet!
You mounted the radiant Buraq,
Flew up to seventh heaven,
Great Prophet! Kaaba!

This was also arranged for violin and piano by Auer, who also swapped the running order of his two selections from the set. Auer wrote a small number of works for violin and piano as well as cadenzas for some of the violin concertos, including those by Beethoven, Mozart and Brahms. He edited much of the standard repertoire, concertos, short pieces and all of Bach’s solo works. Auer is remembered primarily as one of the most important violin pedagogues, and as the most sought-after teacher for gifted young violinists. Amongst his pupils were many famous virtuosos, including Mischa Elman, Jascha Heifetz, Nathan Milstein, Toscha Seidel and Efrem Zimbalist.
Track Name: Văcărescu and Jacobson - Ludwig van Beethoven - “The Ruins of Athens”, Op. 113 - Chorus of Dervishes - Etude (arr. Leopold Auer)
The Ruins of Athens, Op. 113
Beethoven (1770–1827)

1. Turkish March – Scherzo (arr. Leopold Auer)
2. Chorus of Dervishes – Etude (arr. Leopold Auer)

One of the most famous, prolific and influential composers of all time, Ludwig van Beethoven was instrumental in making the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western music. The Ruins of Athens is a set of 11 incidental music pieces he composed in 1811 for orchestra and choir, to accompany a play of the same name by August von Kotzebue for the dedication of a new theatre at Pest, Hungary. The “Turkish March” is the fifth and best-known movement. It has been arranged for piano by Franz Liszt, Anton Rubinstein and Sergei Rachmaninoff and for violin and piano by Leopold Auer (1845–1930). Rarely recorded or performed, “Chorus of Dervishes”, is the fourth movement and dramatically depicts whirling dervishes. Here is the translation of the chorus’s German lyrics:

In the folds of your sleeves
You have carried the moon and shattered it.
Kaaba! Mahomet!
You mounted the radiant Buraq,
Flew up to seventh heaven,
Great Prophet! Kaaba!

This was also arranged for violin and piano by Auer, who also swapped the running order of his two selections from the set. Auer wrote a small number of works for violin and piano as well as cadenzas for some of the violin concertos, including those by Beethoven, Mozart and Brahms. He edited much of the standard repertoire, concertos, short pieces and all of Bach’s solo works. Auer is remembered primarily as one of the most important violin pedagogues, and as the most sought-after teacher for gifted young violinists. Amongst his pupils were many famous virtuosos, including Mischa Elman, Jascha Heifetz, Nathan Milstein, Toscha Seidel and Efrem Zimbalist.
Track Name: Văcărescu and Jacobson - Antonio Bazzini - The Round of the Goblins - Scherzo Fantastique, op.25
La Ronde des Lutins – Scherzo fantastique, Op. 25 Bazzini (1818–1897)

Antonio Bazzini was regarded as one of the finest concert violinists of his time. It was Paganini that encouraged the young Bazzini to shift his attention from chamber music to a solo concert career. However, legend has it that Paganini also hid his compositions from Bazzini, who would steal and learn them, undermining Paganini’s status as number one virtuoso. Bazzini as a composer is best known for his chamber music works. His Ronde des Lutins (Dance of the Goblins) remains a gem amongst violin works and is one of the most difficult pieces ever written for the instrument.